Skin Ulcer Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

A pores and skin ulcer is an open sore attributable to poor blood stream.

Good blood stream is important for wound therapeutic. However if in case you have blood circulation issues, minor accidents can’t heal correctly. Over time, an harm can flip right into a pores and skin ulcer.

If an ulcer turns into contaminated, it must be handled rapidly. Contaminated sores are severe as a result of the an infection can unfold all through the physique.

Typically, pores and skin ulcers have an effect on the legs. As much as 3 in 1,000 folks have energetic leg ulcers. They will additionally present up on the ft, again, and hips. Pores and skin ulcers are extra widespread in older folks.

Your signs, therapy, and restoration will depend upon the precise explanation for your ulcer.

Typically, a pores and skin ulcer appears to be like like a spherical open sore within the pores and skin. The outer border may be raised and thick.

Within the early levels, you’ll discover pores and skin discoloration within the space. It’d look pink and really feel heat. In case you have a darker pores and skin tone, it might look shiny or blue.

Because the pores and skin ulcer will get worse, it’ll appear like a crater. It’d weep clear fluid or blood.

Different signs depend upon the sort and severity of the ulcer. Chances are you’ll discover:

  • swelling
  • redness
  • tenderness
  • itchiness
  • ache
  • pores and skin discoloration
  • adjustments in pores and skin texture
  • yellow or inexperienced pus (as a result of an an infection)

Pores and skin ulcers occur when there’s an issue with blood circulation. Causes of poor blood stream embrace:


Diabetes is a illness that causes excessive blood sugar. Over time, excessive blood sugar can result in nerve injury known as peripheral neuropathy. Chances are you’ll lose sense of contact in your ft and legs.

Since you possibly can’t really feel ache or stress, you received’t really feel accidents in your legs or ft. Excessive blood sugar additionally slows down wound therapeutic.

If left untreated, accidents can flip into pores and skin ulcers.


Atherosclerosis, or arteriosclerosis, happens when the arteries grow to be slim as a result of fats buildup known as plaque.

Usually, the arteries ship blood all through the physique. However when the arteries slim, they’ll’t correctly flow into blood.

If a part of your physique doesn’t get sufficient blood, the pores and skin tissue breaks down and kinds a sore.

You’re extra prone to develop atherosclerosis if in case you have diabetes.


If you happen to keep in a single place for too lengthy, the fixed stress will squeeze your blood vessels.

This blocks blood stream to pores and skin tissue. Ultimately, the pores and skin dies and develops an ulcer.

Venous insufficiency

Venous insufficiency happens when your veins can’t ship blood out of your legs to your coronary heart. Blood collects in your leg veins, which results in swelling.

If the swelling is extreme, it may put stress in your pores and skin and trigger ulcers.

Causes of venous insufficiency embrace varicose veins and blood clots.

You’re extra prone to get pores and skin ulcers if in case you have sure danger elements. These embrace:

  • Being pregnant. Throughout being pregnant, hormonal adjustments and elevated blood quantity could trigger leg vein issues.
  • Cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke hardens your arteries and disrupts correct blood stream.
  • Restricted mobility. Being bedridden, paralyzed, or utilizing a wheelchair places your pores and skin beneath fixed stress. Leg accidents and arthritis can restrict your motion.
  • Growing age. Age is linked to atherosclerosis and venous insufficiency.
  • Hypertension. Hypertension, or hypertension, damages the arteries and disrupts blood stream.
  • Excessive blood ldl cholesterol. Excessive ldl cholesterol will increase narrowing and oxidative stress within the arteries, which disrupts blood stream.
  • Weight problems. Weight problems raises your danger for diabetes, atherosclerosis, and elevated stress in your leg veins.
  • Historical past of blood clots. If you happen to’re liable to blood clots, you’re extra prone to have blood stream points.

If left untreated, a pores and skin ulcer could grow to be contaminated. This may lengthen the therapeutic course of.

The an infection may unfold to deeper tissue, bones, joints, and blood.

There are 4 kinds of pores and skin ulcers. Each has a special trigger and barely completely different signs. Pores and skin ulcer sorts embrace:

Decubitus (stress) ulcers

Decubitus ulcers are attributable to steady stress or friction on the pores and skin. They’re additionally known as stress ulcers and stress sores.

These ulcers usually develop on bony areas, as a result of the bones place further stress on the pores and skin.

Decubitus ulcers normally have an effect on the:

  • again
  • hips
  • buttocks
  • ankles
  • heels

Venous pores and skin ulcers

Venous pores and skin ulcers are attributable to poor blood circulation within the leg veins. They normally have an effect on the leg between the knee and ankle.

About 80 to 90 p.c of all leg ulcers are venous leg ulcers.

Arterial pores and skin ulcers

Arterial ulcers, or ischemic ulcers, occur when blocked arteries trigger poor blood stream.

These ulcers generally kind on the:

  • decrease leg
  • ft
  • heels
  • toes
  • outer aspect of ankles

Normally, arterial ulcers are very painful. Ache would possibly worsen at evening or when the legs aren’t transferring.

Neuropathic pores and skin ulcers

Neuropathic ulcers are attributable to nerve injury and slim arteries. They’re additionally known as diabetic foot ulcers.

These ulcers sometimes happen on the stress factors of the foot. This contains:

Due to nerve injury, you seemingly received’t really feel ache. However you would possibly discover clear fluid in your socks.

Neuropathic foot ulcers have an effect on about 15 p.c of individuals with diabetes.

A health care provider can carry out completely different assessments to diagnose your sore. This would possibly embrace:

  • Medical historical past. This data will help your physician higher perceive your signs.
  • Bodily examination. Your physician will look at the scale and depth of your sore, and search for blood, fluid, or pus.
  • Blood take a look at. In case your ulcer is contaminated, a blood panel will present how your physique is combating the an infection. A blood take a look at may present underlying issues.
  • Tissue or fluid tradition. This take a look at can decide what sort of micro organism is inflicting your an infection so your physician can prescribe the proper antibiotics.
  • Imaging assessments. An X-ray, CT scan, or MRI helps your physician take a look at the tissue and bone beneath the sore.

In case you have a gentle pores and skin ulcer, dwelling treatments could velocity up the therapeutic course of.

For severe sores, test with a health care provider earlier than utilizing dwelling remedies.

Residence treatments embrace:

  • Leg elevation. To assist blood stream out of your leg, maintain your leg above your coronary heart. Prop it up on cushions or pillows.
  • Compression socks. Compression socks cut back leg swelling by serving to blood stream again as much as the center.
  • Saline answer. In case you have a gentle pores and skin ulcer, you possibly can clear it with sterile salt water known as saline. In case your ulcer is extreme, a wound-care nurse ought to do it as an alternative.
  • Turmeric. Turmeric has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti inflammatory properties which will assist wound therapeutic. To make use of it, combine a 2-to-1 ratio of floor turmeric and water and gently apply the paste on the sore.
  • Honey. Historically, honey is used for wound therapeutic as a result of it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial advantages. To do that technique, apply high-quality honey to a dressing, then apply the dressing on the pores and skin.

The purpose of pores and skin ulcer therapy is to heal the wound, cut back ache, and deal with any an infection. Your therapy could embrace:


Dressings defend the wound and maintain it clear. This promotes therapeutic and prevents an infection.

The kind of dressing depends upon your ulcer and your physician’s desire. Examples embrace moist dressings, hydrogels, hydrocolloids, collagen wound dressings, and antimicrobial dressings.

At all times comply with your physician’s directions. They’ll clarify methods to clear the ulcer and alter the dressing.


In case your ulcer is contaminated, you’ll want antibiotic ointment. If the an infection has reached deeper tissue or bone, you’ll obtain oral antibiotics.

Your physician could prescribe antibiotics even when your ulcer isn’t contaminated. The antibiotics will cut back the danger of an infection.

Ache treatment

At first, altering the dressing shall be painful. A health care provider can prescribe treatment to manage the ache. The ulcer shall be much less painful because it will get higher.

If you happen to can’t really feel ache or stress, you seemingly received’t want ache treatment.

Surgical procedure

Usually, noninfected pores and skin ulcers don’t want surgical procedure.

If different remedies don’t work, or if in case you have a big sore, you would possibly want a pores and skin graft. This can shut the wound and assist correct therapeutic.

Surgical procedure may be executed to take away stress by shaving away bone.

If a wound doesn’t heal inside two to a few weeks, get medical assist. You may need a pores and skin ulcer.

Early therapy will cut back the danger of an infection and different issues.

If you happen to don’t have a major care physician, you possibly can browse docs in your space by way of the Healthline FindCare instrument.

Typically, pores and skin ulcer restoration happens inside a couple of weeks to a few months. Severe ulcers can take as much as two years.

Full restoration depends upon:

  • sort of ulcer
  • dimension of ulcer
  • high quality of wound care
  • your total well being
  • blood circulation
  • stress from strolling or standing

Restoration could take longer if in case you have an an infection, diabetes, or atherosclerosis.

Pores and skin ulcers are open spherical sores. They develop when blood can’t stream to an harm. Causes of poor blood stream embrace diabetes, atherosclerosis, stress, and vein issues.

Usually, pores and skin ulcers have an effect on the legs, however they’ll happen on the ft, hips, and again. Remedy depends upon your ulcer and total well being. Chances are you’ll must elevate your leg, put on compression socks or dressings, or take antibiotics or ache treatment.

In case you have a wound that received’t heal, or in case you discover a pores and skin ulcer, see a health care provider instantly.

Leave a Comment